Gloria Obianyo & Giles Terera Join Lenny Henry in Donmar Warehouse’s, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui

The Donmar Warehouse has announced full casting for Bruce Norris’ new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s satirical masterpiece The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Simon Evans with design by Peter McKintosh.  Lenny Henry will make his Donmar debut as Arturo Ui, he is joined by Michael Pennington, who recently played the title role in King Lear at the Royal & Derngate Northampton, as Dogsborough. Other casting includes Philip Cumbus, Lucy Eaton, Tom Edden, Lucy Ellinson, Simon Holland Roberts, Louis Martin, Justine Mitchell, Gloria Obianyo, Guy Rhys and Giles Terera.

Chicago! A city of jazz and gangsters, prohibition and poverty. Amongst the murk of the Great Depression, there’s room for a small time crook like Arturo Ui to make a name for himself.  Ui and his henchmen just want to look after you, to offer protection for workers, for jobs, for businesses. Nothing to fear. But a little bribery here, some harmless corruption there, and soon something much more dangerous takes hold.

Brecht’s satirical masterpiece about the rise of a demagogue will be given a new translation by Pulitzer, Olivier and Tony Award-winning American playwright, Bruce Norris. Lenny Henry makes his Donmar debut as Arturo Ui.

Lenny Henry – has been a comedian since the age of 16, finding fame as a comedy impressionist on 70’s TV talent show, New Faces. Other television work includes TISWAS, Three of a Kind, The Lenny Henry Show, Hope & Glory, Lenny Henry in Pieces, Chef! and the Saturday night BBC1 show, The Magicians. He has completed many sell-out live stand-up tours in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. On radio, Lenny worked for three years as a DJ on BBC Radio 1. He has also worked extensively for Radio 4, starring in the comedy Rudy’s Rare Records, he wrote the Radio 4 play Corinne Come Back and Gone and presented the series Lenny and Will.

Gloria Obianyo (Flake/Hook) – makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Gloria’s stage credits include The Wild Party (St James Theatre), The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

Giles Terera (Roma) – makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Giles’ stage credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hamlet, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, Honk!, The Darker Face of the Earth, Mind the Gap and Walk in the Light (National Theatre), The Tempest (RSC). Other theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Pure Imagination (St James’ Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Globe Theatre, International Tour) King John (Globe Theatre & UK tour), Don’t You Leave Me Here (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Up on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre), Six Degrees of Separation (Sheffield Crucible) and Generations of the Dead (Young Vic). Giles has appeared on television in Horrible Histories and Doctors, and on film in The Current War, Muse of Fire and London Boulevard.


The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is the second production in the Power Season.

By Bertolt Brecht 
Translated by Bruce Norris runs at the Donmar Theatre Friday 21 April – Saturday 17 June 2017. Find out more here.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui has tickets available throughout the run via Klaxon Tickets: a new allocation of tickets, starting from £10, being made available every Monday for performances two weeks later. Find out more here.

The Donmar’s new Young+Free scheme, which provides free tickets to those aged 25 and under will also continue throughout the season, with releases for tickets on the last Friday of each month. Find out more here.


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